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News items from Jan 2021

Starting a new thread, though we can still add & Comment to the previous one.
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Good to see a sea slug featured.
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I’m fond of brownfield sites - maybe because in some parts of the over-developed and over-tidied Greater London sprawl they’re the best environment you get. Some great-looking returns to nature in Scotland:
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Probably Swanscombe Marshes cannot be saved from disneyworld:
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Only 17,000 people have signed the petition…

A quote from The Scottish article,

“Planting a few conifers and flinging around a mix of wildflowers may be a quick fix, but sometimes it appears that the best thing to do is nothing.”, is borne out by their examples.
I checked briefly the NML between North and south Korea and it appears widely reported that black bears have been seen.

One issue about Swanscombe is that it will all be under water in the not too distant future so whatever is there does not have a long life. It would be very surprising if anyone would insure the disney proposal given that sea levels are very likely to rise many metres overtopping any embankments before it has a chance to payback the investment. Perhaps it will provide a good reef for sea life in future.

Butterflies clap their wings …
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-55719955
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With video clips.

Cats and 'nip

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The emergence of the cicadas is “a wonderful opportunity for millions of people to witness and enjoy a remarkable biological phenomenon in their own backyard that happens nowhere else on the planet”


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interesting that it was Mark Kermode’s ‘cult movies’ last evening, seems that the cicadas would be ideal for that

28th January

I was just about to post this myself…
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The discovery, which features in the next episode of Natural History Museum: World of Wonder , airing on Thursday at 8pm on Channel 5, also provides fresh insights into the UK’s climate during the bronze age.
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There is one post here https://www.ispotnature.org/communities/global/view/observation/621015/longhorn-beetle-cermbyx-cerdo
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And more info here https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/research-topic/forestry/qr-tree-project/great-capricorn-beetle
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A galanthus effort: Covid-hit snowdrop festival moves online. Something to look forward to in February… https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/jan/17/a-galanthus-effort-covid-hit-snowdrop-festival-moves-online?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other

Maybe of interest especially to help new members looking about during Lockdown exercise.

Plantlife Spotter Sheets

As we move into Spring, you might find these seasonal ‘spotter sheets’ useful to take on your daily exercise - www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discover-wild-plants-nature/spotter-sheets

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Not exactly news, but George McGovern did Desert Island Discs this week.


His school report said " George must concentrate more; a fly walking up the window would distract him". George is a entomologist. He found a new species of spider while on the loo which he couldn’t leave because he had diarrhoea. He likes tardigrades.

Thanks Jo.
he has an easy going style, very inspirational

A question, why are so many of the TV natural history presenters so old. There have been attempts to capture younger ones out of uni or even younger but not sure they have been very successful. Is it that broadcasters are frightened of younger ones if they might be a bit rough around the edges and may occasionally say wrong things that they can’t edit out on live programs. Thinking about myself at 25 or 30 there were still so many interesting places to go and exciting species to see also brain much better at remembering all those details for identification.
Hope George inspires new people to come along and can share expertise with them, perhaps even have joint presenters who are both very interested in the subject rather than one being a presenter for the sake of being a general presenter plus an expert.

This was news to me… https://www.theguardian.com/science/2021/feb/17/plantwatch-fungus-creates-fake-fragrant-flowers-xyris-to-fool-bees
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But when I googled “Pseudoflowers fungi” there were plenty of other examples.
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Fungi are fantastic.
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